Today is my dad's birthday. He jokingly - well, I hope it was jokingly - told me I couldn't write about him here on this blog. Well, he should have known not a single family member is safe in this challenge. A girl's gotta write about what a girl's gotta write about to get a piece in by the deadline.
Since today is his birthday, I wanted to take time to tell one of my favorite stories about my dad. Everyone in the family knows Dad likes to go for random drives. When I first got my driver's license I excitedly jumped in the car to drive to visit my grandparents only to find I wasn't sure how to get there since we had taken a different route nearly every time we visited. Riding with Dad is always an adventure. For me, someone who takes life a little too seriously, random adventure is a good thing. Happy birthday, Dad!
We didn't see Dad much during the week even though we knew he was there. When Friday would roll around my brother, Chad, and I would try with all of our might to stay awake until Dad came in the door just after midnight. We'd watch television. We'd grab late night snacks. We'd poke each other awake and hope to make it until Dad came sneaking in the door. Thinking back, I'm guessing most Friday nights we didn't make it. On those nights, Dad likely found us sound asleep on the couch.
There were the nights we managed to keep ourselves awake until Dad came home. Oh, do I remember those nights! As soon as Dad entered the living room we'd beg and plead with him to take us on a late night road trip. Some nights we won the back and forth. Sometimes he just had to give in to our persistence. We'd sneak quietly out the door past Mom who was sound asleep.
I remember heading in to White Castle for hamburgers when most of the world was asleep. There was hardly a car on the road as we left our quiet lane and headed into Columbus for a late night treat. It was fun to be in the car with Dad late at night. We'd go through the drive-thru, pick up our hamburgers, and then Dad would take us on a random drive before heading home to sneak back in past Mom and up to our beds for the night.
Sometimes we talked Dad into bigger adventures. I'll never forget the night we took off and went to Putt-Putt well after the rest of our small town had turned their lights off for the night. It seemed we had the place virtually to ourselves. Putt-putting under the stars was a brand new adventure. I didn't know any other kid who had parents that would venture out late at night like that. It was like the world belonged to us.
Today I still like to go on road trips with my dad. He chauffeurs me to my kids' sporting events and always manages a coffee stop. In the summer we go on a random drive every now and then to places near and far. When I get in the car with him I know there will always be plenty of adventure, great sights to see and good conversation. Most of all, I know, the time with my dad will always give me something to smile about.
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